OCTOBER 31, 2017

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The leaders of our Church asked me to address you today. No doubt they asked me because they felt it to be right that, at the final gathering of this five hundredth anniversary, I should speak on behalf of the Hungarian Government – both as Prime Minister and a member of the Reformed Church. Tradition is a compelling force – particularly today, ninety-nine years to the day after anti-Christian forces murdered István Tisza: a great Prime Minister and member of the Reformed Church. In addition to our respect for tradition, this anniversary also presents us with an opportunity to clarify, to discuss and reach conclusions on what lessons the Reformation has for public affairs, state administration and the building of the nation.

This is what I would like to speak about now; and due to the constraints of time, I will do so in the manner I have just learned from Bishop Steinbach: I won’t explain things, I’ll simply say them. To serve people is at least as difficult a task in Government as it is in the Church, and this is why I am personally grateful for all the support we receive from our spiritual and intellectual communities, from you Protestants, and naturally also from our Catholic brothers and sisters. In the past few decades, I have also learned that prayer is the highest form of this support. Thank you for your prayers.

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As our lives and work are governed by a force and a power that is higher than us, it is also part of a higher order of things that before our celebration we have a service of worship – only after which we turn to our secular affairs. The world did not begin with us, but at the beginning of our lives, there is the same divine order which created man and gave him place and time. The place for us is the Carpathian Basin, the heart of Europe. The time is two thousand years after the birth of Jesus Christ, one thousand years after our first king’s decision that he and his people would become Christian, and five hundred years after the spiritual and intellectual revolution that revived the Christian faith.

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